Hot diggity dawg! After years crawling the digital desert lower than a lizard, real-time tactical stealth murderer Desperados: Wanted Dead or Alive now plays nicely on modern systems. Publishers THQ Nordic last week released an update making the 2001 game support modern Windows along with Mac and Linux, to fix the problem of it crashing like a horse full of rotgut. Desperados is a tip-top tactics 'em up about a rootin' tootin' squad of mercenaries combining their powers of distraction, evasion, exsanguination, and explosion on missions in the Wild West, similar to the Commandos games, and well worth a look - especially as it's on sale now too.
The update launched last week for the Steam and GOG versions of Desperados, bringing support for Windows 7, 8, and 10, plus Mac and Linux. For years, playing this game on modern systems involved downloading rando files off the Internet, installing a tool, and poking around with all sorts of settings.
The update also rolled a mission from the demo into the game, closing a loop on those days when demos would often contain unique slices. Language selection options are in too. Decent update for a 17-year-old game, that. And it's still a decent game.
"Desperados is the pinnacle of the stealth-strategy genre represented elsewhere in this list by Commandos 2. Across beautifully drawn levels, the heroes of the piece move through a hit parade of Western locations and scenarios, sneaking by, shooting and subduing the outlaws who stand between them and their bounty.
"The various player characters have a diverse skillset and several abilities can operate in combination to unleash new tactics. Explosives expert Sam Williams can plant a barrel of TNT as distraction or weapon, for example, and then gambler Kate O'Hara can use a mirror to direct just enough rays in its direction to light the fuse. Daft? Yes. Enjoyable? Absolutely."
If you still have an old copy on CD (and an optical drive to put it in?) you're probably out of luck for this patch. But THQ Nordic--who didn't even publish the original release--do have Desperados on sale for another week yet, down to £0.89/€0.99/$0.99 on Steam.
THQ Nordic have been good stewards for many of the games and brands they've nabbed the rights to, also updating games including Titan Quest, Darksiders, Sine Mora, and Red Faction Guerrilla in recent years.
Oh, if you dig this sort of real-time tactical squadmurder, you might well dig 2016's Shadow Tactics: Blades Of The Shogun. It's doing Desperados/Commandos sort of things in Edo period Japan, and Tim Stone's review will tell you it's a good'un.